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Archive for the ‘disability benefits’ tag

Workers’ Compensation and Suing Your Employer

November 30th, 2020 at 11:16 pm

IL work injury lawyer, IL workers comp attorneyIn an average year, around 3 million people suffer injuries in the course of doing their jobs across the country. These injuries cost companies tens of billions of dollars, including both lost productivity and the costs of treating the workers’ injuries. In Illinois, as in all other states, a workers’ compensation program was developed to help injured employees by providing benefits to cover medical expenses, retraining costs, and even a percentage of the wages lost due to their injuries. While workers’ compensation is available in most cases in which the injured worker is an employee, many people are often curious if they can sue their employer in pursuit of additional compensation.

Workers’ Compensation and Fault

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the state’s work comp program is entirely a no-fault system that is intended to protect injured employees. The program’s benefits are usually payable regardless of who caused the injury or whether negligence was a factor. In fact, an employee could even collect workers’ comp benefits if he or she caused his or her own injuries through carelessness. If injured workers had to prove that their injuries were caused by negligence by their employers or any other parties, the state’s work comp program would pay on far fewer claims, leading to thousands of injured employees with no income and no recourse.

For example, if you were at work and performing a task on a ladder—a ladder that was maintained properly and in proper working condition—and you turned to reach something above your head, could you accuse your employer of being negligent if you fell? Under the workers’ compensation program in Illinois, the answer to that question is of no consequence. Workers’ comp benefits would likely be available for your injuries.

Express Limits on Suing Your Employer

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is the law the primarily governs the workers’ compensation program in the state. This law explicitly states that a person who subject to the law and eligible to claim work comp benefits does not have any “common law or statutory right” to file a lawsuit against his or her employer for losses caused by the injury. There are some exceptions to this law, but they are very limited. For example, if you were physically attacked by your employer, for example, you would be entitled to sue your employer. You might also be able to sue if your employee intentionally engages in conduct that is highly likely to cause serious injury or death to workers, but such cases are exceedingly rare. Generally, if you are hurt on the job, you do not have the option of suing your employer.

An Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help

If you have suffered an injury in the course of doing your job and you have questions about collecting workers’ comp benefits, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation benefits attorney to get the answers you need. Call 630-574-2288 for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today. We have the experience and resources to help you get the resources you need to start putting your life back together.

 

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/faq.aspx

Claimant Awarded Disability Benefits

December 23rd, 2013 at 8:59 am

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) awarded permanent disability benefits in November to a worker who injured his ankle at work, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The case established that even if a claimant can maintain the same job title after sustaining the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation if the nature of the work has changed. If the claimant, that is, is unable to perform the work at the same speed or with the same ease as he could before the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation even if he is able at the same time to keep the position. Claimant Awarded Disability Benefits

According to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission Law Bulletin, “where the claimant’s job duties require post-injury modification, and he performs his duties at a much slower pace and is less productive than before his work injury, the claimant has suffered a deviation from his usual and customary line of employment.” If it can be established that the usual and customary line of employment has been altered by the injury, the claimant is eligible for workers’ compensation, as in this case.

Sherwood v. Ineos Nova LLC was initiated after a 2008 incident in which the claimant was climbing an icy tank. The claimant worked as a reliability technician, and “his duties included maintenance of the computer systems and equipment at the plant.” When he slipped climbing the icy tank, the claimant “fell down a long set of stairs,” shattering his left ankle. In early 2009, the claimant underwent surgery and physical therapy, and in March of that year returned to work.

Although the claimant’s job duties were in fact modified to fit his new restrictions, the IWCC awarded him workers’ compensation because “his age, profession, education, physical restrictions, and nature of the injury make it highly unlikely that the claimant could obtain a position elsewhere in his chosen profession.”

The ruling is important because it sets a precedent that even in cases in which the employer correctly and sufficiently modifies a job description to fit restrictions of an injured worker, the worker could still be eligible for compensation. If you or someone you know is seeking disability benefits, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.

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